Urbanology for Human Cities

All real estate property can generate revenue and capital for developers and investors. Various types of properties do this in different ways.



In the traditional model, properties can be successful with the solid basics of listings, broker sales, and advertising. When this is true, developers and investors often don’t see a reason to do more. Good fundamentals can get the job done.

There are also more innovative projects. These take bigger risks and seek higher returns. In some cases, these are existing properties that need to overcome old reputations. This could be due to dated design, older amenities, or for having been used in certain ways for many years. Two examples of this are Schaumburg Towers and Union Station.

  • Schaumburg Towers, a prominent, multi-million dollar office complex, had been around for so many decades, it was virtually invisible to those in the area. Torque Digital was called upon to refresh this property with the goal of creating a vibrant community center with dramatically increased usage.
  • Union Station, while still iconic, suffered from decades of dwindling relevance and use. Now it’s being redeveloped by Riverside Investment to increase traffic and turn it into a destination.



“Urbanology for Human Cities” is a phrase coined by Torque Digital. It describes developments that redefine user experiences, rather than property marketing as usual. This is accomplished by pioneering or adapting to transformations in workplace, lifestyle, retail shopping, community functions, or other aspects of day-to-day life.

The Why
Businesses, cities, and buildings are competitive. Businesses and urban areas strive to attract resources to stimulate economic conditions. Building owners who attempt this with features and amenities can only go so far in distinguishing their properties. To make properties truly stand out, we must find ways for buildings to sustain the community in addition to traditional amenities.

The What
Urbanology for Human Cities redefines experiences. It’s grounded in listening to human stories, and thereby discovering journeys and connections to community. It provides the guidelines for marketing that encourages and helps people come together to live, work, and thrive.

The How
Urbanology begins with a discovery process. We study circumstances, conditions, and potential to determine the most desirable way to develop the property. We dig deeply into the vision for building design, amenities and configuration. We look into the relationship between the property, the surrounding area and potential experiences of people who will be spending parts of their lives there.

We try to discover what was considered about the surrounding community and what might not have been taken into account. We look for the original design and the intent for occupants, whether they be residents or business tenants, as well as the surrounding community. Understanding this helps us put the building’s potential to work. It also helps us craft marketing programs that connect the property to the community.

Urbanology can make a major impact by connecting properties to dining, entertainment, art, and social purpose. We’ve worked with property owners to plan and manage a variety of programs, such as educational events led by local community instructors, architectural tours for children, music events featuring local talent, and food, beer and wine tastings with local businesses.

The Urbanology project in and around the Wrigley Building showcases how Urbanology can work. Torque Digital worked in partnership with Stone Retail Real Estate Corporation and an organization called Arts of Life (an artist community that champions the support of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities) to put signs in windows that communicated space for rent and featured work by these artists. The goal was not only to promote vacant store space, but to expose pedestrians to this artwork. This unique marketing effort led to an increase in store leasings as well as the development of the area and the community. Learn more about this project.


Here are 2 other examples of Urbanology for Human Cities:


The Result

Torque’s Urbanology for Human Cities is a unique approach to enriching communities. Properties are at the center, but they share the spotlight with experiences that engage users and attract attention. Urbanology for Human Cities knits together the fabric of the community.